Kids flown the nest? Retrocycling could leave you £735 better off

Do you have a classic Furby in the loft?

It’s a cliche, but I know that when I moved out, I started clean and minimalist and left the bulk of my prized possessions cluttering my mum’s house. So did all three of my siblings. Eventually, my mum’s house was bursting with deserted boxes and bags that none of us wanted to collect, but none of us wanted to throw out.

Something had to give, so one day my mum declared she was having a clear out. We came, we took what we genuinely wanted, and all the rest went up for sale, to the charity shop, or in the bin. It took about a month, but suddenly my mum had a house again, not a well equipped storage unit.

And it turns out this isn’t an uncommon tale. According to research from Lloyds TSB Insurance,  nearly three quarters (73%) of parents are left to look after their children’s possessions after they move out. These items add up to an average of £735, and can often languish untouched for up to 20 years.

Tim Downes, senior claims manager, Lloyds TSB Insurance, said:

“Items that have been gifts in the past can sometimes hold more value than they did when first opened, so it is worth checking, in case they have become valuable collectors’ items that could generate some extra cash for the start of the year.

“January clear-outs provide an opportunity for the family to take a trip down memory lane while organising the home. To start off on the right foot, remember to notify your insurer of any valuable new additions to ensure you are adequately covered.”

Dr Kairen Cullen, chartered educational psychologist, said:

“Hoarding items for longer than required could be a sign of a bigger issue, yet ignoring the problem for another year is rarely the best way to address the situation.

“People can hold on to objects that give them a sense of safety and well-being. Taking steps to clear out unnecessary items can help us start the New Year with a new sense of purpose, while benefiting from the positive feelings associated with finding their items a better home and starting afresh.”

Feeling inspired? Here’s a list of the most popular ‘retrocyclables’ and what they could be worth:

Old toys (80%)

  • Transformers G1 Optimus Prime (£70)
  • Original Furby (1998) (£49)
  • Barbie Camper Van (£68.99)
  • Tracy Island (£30)
  • Original Buzz Lightyear action figure (£54.99)
  • Original Twister game (1966) (£21)

Books (80%)

  • Beatrix Potter: World of Peter Rabbit collection (£40)
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica 1995 – 23 book, complete set (£99)

Clothes (61%)

  • Original Nike Air Jordans (1985) (£1,257)
  • Original United Colors of Benetton sweatshirt (£22)

Music (46%)

  • Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 1, vinyl (£22)
  • Signed framed WHAM promo LP ‘Fantastic’ (£195)

Sports/hobbies equipment (44%)

  • Andre Agassi junior tennis racket (£22.49)
  • Fisher Price children’s Grow With Me rollerskates (£25)

Gadgets/technology equipment (34%)

  • Nintendo Original Gameboy, plus four games and accessories (£49.99)
  • Acorn BBC micro-computer (£54)
  • Sega Master System II console with 14 Games Bundle (£39.99)

So, what could you gain when you clear out the clutter?

Emily @amummytoo

Emily @amummytoo

Blogger. Foodie. Photographer. Working mum of two. 1950s mum wrapped up in a techno suit.
Emily @amummytoo


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